Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Jordan day 1

This was the first real day of our tour.

Views from our window

After a latish breakfast we were to meet our guide in the lobby. At 9:30 we trundled down and presented ourselves to Sami. We needed to fill in an information sheet which we duly did.

Once all the party had assembled, there are 18 of us on this tour, it was onto the bus and off across Amman and north to Jerash.

Along the way Sami provided some background on the country. More than half the people currently living in Jordan are refuges. For such a small country they appear to be carrying a high refuge load.

We passed a Palestinian refuge camp. This camp has been in existance for 70 years and not a tent to be seen just a huge number of buildings. Trevor took a photo and I'll add it once I get a chance to download his photos.

Much of the country is very dry and devoid of any significant vegetation.

Jerash is a huge site that was only fairly recently discovered. While much of the areas that have been excavated so far cover the Roman period the site covers earlier as well as later occupation. The extent of the buildings and infrastructure are difficult to comprehend. While I'll put a limited number of my photos in this blog I don't think it can ever do the site justice.

Hadrian's Gate

A man hole ... I'll add something about these later


 Leaving Jerash we stopped for lunch at a local restaurant. the food was very similar to turkish and we all had a wrap with various fillings. Drinks were interesting. Trevor and I both opted for the lemon mint which was bright green and both tasty and refreshing. Lemon mint seems to be a particularly Jordanian drink as it has been offered to us wherever we have gone to date.

Our next stop was the Dead Sea, yes that place mentioned quite a few times in the Bible. We started at around 850m and by the time we had reached the Dead Sea we were 400m below sea level. Quite an experience. Supposedly, this is the lowest place on earth.

View down to the Dead sea with the Golan heights in the background
The day was brilliant. The photos will all show a glorious blue sky. This made for difficulties doing photos as everything was blue. Still, there are photos.
Lorraine floating in the Dead Sea

Trevor floating in the Dead Sea

Trevor and a heap of others floating in the Dead Sea

View across the Dead Sea to Israel's territories

Trevor in the pool with the Dead Sea in the background (behind the plants)
Floating in the Dead sea is a weird experience. Try standing up! It is very difficult as we are actually top heavy. Feet kept on insisting on rising to the surface. It was hard to keep them down. It was one of those things that you need to experience to understand. An odd sensation.

We returned to Amman and our hotel travelling through heavy traffic. I can't say it was peak hour as it seemed to be just as heavy at 9:30 as it was at 6:30. I'm glad that we had a driver and that we were not tackling driving in Amman.

The whole group went out for dinner at what Sami told us was his families favourite restaurant. It was pleasant but very like the turkish fare that we get at any number of places in Canberra. The only difference was the bread and this was a little different and very yummy.

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